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Sharp Increase in Suffolk County Flu Cases

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services is encouraging residents to get their flu shots this season.

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The Suffolk County Department of Health Services is encouraging residents to get a flu shot this winter.  Flu season lasts from January to late-May, and there has already been a sharp increase in the number flu cases in 34 counties in New York, according to a recent report by the New York State Department of Health.

“Influenza is a serious disease that should be treated as such,” said Dr. James Tomarken, Commission of the Suffolk County Department of Health Services. “Most people who become infected with the flu will suffer with fever, congestion, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches over the course of a week or two and will eventually recover completely. However, some are at greater risk for serious complications that can lead to hospitalization or even death. The good news is that immunization can protect us from the flu.”
The Center for Disease Control recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months immunized against influenza.  The most vulnerable against the disease are young children and people over the age of 65, as well as pregnant women, diabetics, people with heart disease, and those with chronic lung diseases. 
The 2012-2013 flu vaccine will protect against three different flu viruses, an H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the H1N1 virus.  The DHS recommends getting a flu shot each year when it becomes available.  You can  contact your healthcare provider to receive the shot, or by visiting local pharmacies, clinics and health centers.
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